This is the moment a wildlife volunteer was attacked by an angry cheetah at a park while she went to give it breakfast - and survived. Despite being bitten a number of times, Amandine Lequime, 18, managed to escape with her life. The big cat had gone for her throat after slipping through an enclosure gate while waiting to be fed but ignored the raw meat on offer to get a live meal. The teenager from Belgium was filming outside the cheetah's enclosure as a colleague unlocked the gate and prepared to go in and feed the predators. But her own video the 80mph predator side steps him and heads straight for Amandine. She can be heard screaming "oh my God" as it leaps on her back as she turns away from it. It bit her repeatedly with its fangs and mauled her with its razor sharp claws. The volunteer who was in South Africa refused to say where the predator park was but reported her ordeal to warn others. She said: "When it attacked I lost my balance and fell to the ground where the cheetah carried on biting my arms and legs until the manager got the cheetah off me. "I ended up being taken to hospital for treatment for several deep bite marks and cuts that caused muscle damage and required stitches but was very lucky indeed. "I decided to go public as I don't want other volunteers to go through a similar frightening experience and people need to know being close to wild animals is not safe. "I realised that interacting and touching these wild animals is wrong so I put my message out through the Blood Lions association to warn that volunteers can be in danger. "This happened in the first week I was there and the photos with me feeding the cheetahs was two days before the one that attacked me. I thought I was going to die. "It was probably all over in seconds but it seemed like a lifetime. "The female bit my arm twice so I have four big fang holes and needed stitches in each to close them up and I have claw scars down my back and legs. "I moved onto another park after this which was so much more professional and they could not believe the procedures for feeding cheetahs at the park I had been to. "They told me to contact Blood Lions to warn other volunteers that they have to go to proper professional parks if they volunteer which are safe" she said. Amandine said they were taught to walk into the cheetah enclosure with trays of meat on their heads and then lay them down. She said: "In hindsight it was so dangerous but when you just turn up as a new volunteer you just accept what you are told but I just want people who do volunteer not to make the mistakes I made" Student Amandine said an investigation into the attack on April 1 2021 was underway. She spent two months working with animals in South Africa as part of her gap year. Blood Lions are carrying out a global campaign to end the breeding of predators which are then killed for their bones which are sold to the Far East to be used in medicines. There are over 200 parks in South Africa, many of which use volunteers to look after the animals. Blood Lions said: "This is not a stand-alone story as many paying volunteers and tourists have been attacked by captive big cats in South Africa over the last decade or so. "We can only hope that Amandine will be one of the last victims. "Working as a volunteer comes with a huge health and safety risk and we are aware of more than 50 incidents involving captive lions, tigers and cheetahs in these parks. "Many more go unreported and over a third of those attacked are not as lucky as Amandine and sadly lost their lives during the attacks or as a result of their injuries. "Many of the so-called 'sanctuaries' are poorly designed which means inexperienced foreign volunteers have to be in the same space as predators while being fed meat. "Captive animals that should be in the wild often display high stress levels which adds to an already volatile and unnatural situation and the so called voluntourism should stop".
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